Keep aches and pains away with these simple moves. By Selene Yeager
Cycling and tight hips go together like ice-cream and chocolate sauce. That’s because when you’re tucked forward and hammering down the road, your hips never actually go into full extension. Over time, those overworked hip flexors start to tighten and shorten (all the sitting we do off the bike hardly helps with this).
Bound up hips not only put you at risk for back and knee pain, but also can hinder your riding by compromising your glutes and preventing you from putting full force into each pedal stroke. They also wreck your posture off the bike.
Reclaim your power (and stand up nice and straight) with three simple stretches.
Perform each 2 times, holding for 30 to 60 seconds.
Take a giant step forward so you’re in a lunge position with your front knee bent over your front foot, and your back leg fully extended behind you. The top of your back foot should be flat on the floor. Keeping a straight back and gently press your hips forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your groin/hip area. Hold, continuing to move your hips forward as they progressively relax. Repeat on opposite side.
Sit up tall, with your back straight, the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to either side. Holding onto your feet, brace your abs and keep your back flat as you drop your torso forward and feel the stretch throughout your adductors (inner thighs) and outer hips.
Single Leg Pull
Lie back with your legs straight. Contract your abs and bend your right knee, sliding your right foot toward your hip, foot flat on the floor. Keeping the left leg straight and flat on the floor, clasp your hands around the back of your right thigh and bring your knee toward your chest. Increase the stretch by contracting your left glute and pushing the left heel away from your body while gently pulling the right knee toward your chest. Hold. Then repeat on the opposite side.